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nakba law

  • Are Israelis too scared to have opinions anymore?

    A law barring public broadcasters from expressing opinions is just the latest in a long line of legislative and regulatory attempts to limit speech in Israel. At 3:24 a.m. on September 3rd, Israeli parliamentarians passed a controversial law to revamp the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the body responsible for public radio and television. At the last minute, right-wing members of Knesset from ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism and Likud snuck in an article stating that public news broadcasters must “avoid one-sidedness, prejudice, expressing personal opinions, giving grades and affixing labels, ignoring facts or selectively emphasizing them not according to their…

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  • Shhhh, the Nakba made it to prime time

    Israel's top satire program takes on the Nakba. Sometimes humor can succeed in places where activism or advocacy fall short. The tortured road of the Nakba towards a legitimate place in the Israeli historical memory has some unexpected twists. Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Dr. Eléonore Merza Bronstein recently explained that at first, it was mainly Palestinians who wished to commemorate the Nakba. Next came far-left wing Jews in Israel. Following that came the right-wing or oppositional Jewish Israeli approaches, such as “Jewish Nakba,” a phrase coined over the years as a name for the violent expulsion of Jews from Arab countries…

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  • New law would demote Arabic language in the name of 'social cohesion'

    Members of Knesset say law builds a 'collective identity' that will preserve the 'values of democracy.' By Orly Noy A group of MKs from Yisrael Beiteinu, Likud and Jewish Home recently submitted a bill that calls to rescind the status of Arabic as an official language in Israel. On its own, the bill is neither out of the ordinary nor surprising, as it joins a long list of draft laws that were brought before the Knesset plenum over the past years, including the Citizenship Law, the Nakba Law, the Loyalty Law, the Basic Law that declares Israel as the nation state…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day in rallies and protests

    As Noam Sheizaf's recent headline states, "the Nakba's memory is more present than ever in Israel."  The Nakba, literally, "the catastrophe," is the name given to the massive deportation of more then 700,000 Palestinians from what became the State of Israel in 1948. Sheizaf goes on to point out how efforts, such as the "Nakba law," which authorizes the finance minister to withdraw funds from organizations commemorating the day, have backfired and effectively injected Nakba consciousness into the global discourse. From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank and Gaza, activists marched to assert a history which is no longer…

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  • Despite efforts to erase it, the Nakba's memory is more present than ever in Israel

    The Israeli Right has been waging a war on history in recent years, using extreme measures to remove evidence of the Nakba from the national discourse. It failed. Yedioth Hakibbutz is the weekly magazine of the United Kibbutz Movement. It is delivered every week to hundreds of Kibbutzim as part of the weekend edition of Yedioth Ahronoth, the best selling paper in Israel. Even at a time of diminishing political influence – there is not a single representative of the United Kibbutz Movement in the current Knesset – the Kibbutzim remain both a symbol and a stronghold of conservative Zionism, and the…

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  • When racial profiling is a national policy

    Palestinian citizens have many rights in Israel, but they are not equal citizens. Only by removing all discriminatory elements from the legal system will Israel cease to be a democracy of racial profiling. Following one of his visits to Israel, Jewish-American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg praised last year the ease with which he underwent the security procedures at Ben-Gurion International Airport, compared with the long waits he experienced in U.S terminals. Racial profiling made all the difference: while Israeli Jews and many white Westerners – especially those with Jewish names - are rushed through the lines in Israeli terminals and gates, every person…

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  • Between anger and denial: Israeli collective memory and the Nakba

    A new documentary aims to decipher some of the anxiety that accompanies the Israeli debate over the events of 1948. A strange thing regarding the debate on the Nakba: the responses it generates in Israeli society are becoming more and more hostile, while at the same time, the Nakba is mentioned more and more often. Those contradicting elements live side by side, as if the more we work to forget the Nakba, the harder it gets - the recent campaign regarding "the Jewish refugees" that the Foreign Office launched is  just one example. Israeli-Russian-Canadian journalist Lia Tarachansky (from The Real News) is…

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  • WATCH: Nakba discourse inflames passions on all sides

    Israel has gone to great lengths to remove mention of the Nakba - the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 - from textbooks, public discourse, and the public space. But as state efforts to ban Nakba commemorations increase, so does interest in the issue, with more and more Israelis believing that dealing with the matter is a prerequisite to ending the conflict. This short clip surveys this year's particularly dramatic Nakba Day events. This video was produced by Israel Social TV, an independent media NGO working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality, and to mobilize its viewers towards activism.

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  • For Palestinians, the Nakba is not history

    The Nakba has a dual meaning today. On one hand, it is about the hundreds of villages that were razed in 1948 and the hundreds of thousands of refugees who lost their homes. On the other hand, Palestinians continue to suffer the Nakba daily - the separation of families, continuous confiscations of land and settlements choking every Palestinian village and town. Palestinians today mark 64 years since the Nakba (catastrophe). They are not commemorating a historical event that has long passed, or a sad moment in their past. Many of the Palestinian people are living the reality of the Nakba…

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  • Israel's n**** word: efforts to teach it, and attempts to erase it

    My thoughts about Nakba, Nakba Day, and the so-called Nakba law are simple. Silencing another's narrative does not make that narrative go away. And in a similar vein, giving a voice to another's narrative does not invalidate one's own. I commissioned the image above to convey visually what I fear currently risks haunting Israelis forever. That is, despite efforts to shun discussions about the "Nakba" - an Arabic term meaning "catastrophe" often used to reference Israel's process of independence - the narrative simply will not go away. It will continue to creep into Israeli consciousness through the shadows and cracks.…

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  • Nakba Law in action: Students must pay expenses for ceremony

    A new law forbidding the commemoration of the Palestinian catastrophe prompted Tel Aviv University to charge students organizing a joint Israeli-Palestinian ceremony on May 14th in order to pay the security expenses. A little over a year ago, the Israeli Knesset passed the Nakba Law, stating that institutions who receive state funding are not to permit any commemoration of the Palestinian catastrophe in 1948. During Israel's War of Independence, 80 percent of the Arab population in what later became the State of Israel was displaced. Some of the Palestinians fled battle grounds, others were forcefully removed. None were allowed back,…

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  • Court nixes building project, saves unique Nakba village

    Lifta, the best-kept Palestinian Nakba village was saved on Monday, after a surprising verdict by the Jerusalem District Court canceled a 2004 construction plan to build a luxury housing complex on the site. UPDATE: I have received a message from Bimkom, a non-profit which took part in the effort to save Lifta, explaining that the court decision was to cancel the tender, not the plan.  As reported here in October, the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites decided to join the campaign to save the remaining houses of the Palestinian village Lifta, situated at the western entrance to modern Jerusalem. Lifta is the only…

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  • Israel's new Supreme Court: Liberalism don't live here anymore

    Recent rulings by the High Court and the the appointment of a rightwing settler signal the twilight of Israel’s juridical liberal-democratic period By Eyal Clyne Last week, Judge Noam Sohlberg was appointed to the Israeli Supreme Court (which, in Israel, is also the High Court of Justice, a court of judicial review carrying important constitutional functions). Sohlberg will thus become the first settler judge in Israel’s history. Being a settler, Sohlberg has a clear conflict of interests, since he will have the authority to rule on appeals against government policies violating International Law, while himself violating International Law on a…

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